KITS 12/2019



P-51D-15, 44-15080, Capt. Amos H. Bomberger, 361st FS, 356th FG, 8th AF,

Martlesham Heath, United Kingdom, December 1944

356th FG was established on December 8th, 1942 and after necessary training in the south of the United

States it was dispatched to Great Britain in fall 1943 and incorporated into 8th AF. It was equipped with

P-47 Thunderbolts and the main mission was providing the escort to B-17 and B-24 four engine bombers

on their sorties over the Third Reich territory. In November 1944 356th FG squadrons were equipped with

P-51D Mustangs flying them until the end of World War Two. Shortly after, on November 10th, 1945, the

unit was disbanded.

356th FG aircraft marking was the red fuselage nose with blue diamonds, same colors were applied to

the propeller spinners. Capt. Bomberger christened his aircraft Carolyn’s Vergeltungswaffe. This word meaning „revenge weapon“ in English was the designation for V-1 flying bombs and V-2 rockets in German

propaganda parlance.

P-51D-10, 44-14798, Maj. Joseph Broadhead, 357th FG, 8th AF, Leiston, United Kingdom,

January 1945

357th Fighter Group became the first 8th Air Force fighter group equipped with P-51 Mustang with which,

in November 1943, it underwent the training at British airbase Raydon. It entered into the combat with enemy

in February operating from Leiston airbase. The unit personnel was nicknamed Yoxford Boys first time by the

commentator of British Broadcasting of the German Radio during the night after their arrival in Leiston airbase

located nearby the village of Yoxford. Joseph Broadhead commanded the incorporated 362nd FS from March

10th to August 25th, 1944 when having completed his second tour of duty he was sent back to United States

for recuperation. After that he returned to 357th FG for his third tour of duty which he completed in February

1945. His score in World War Two was eight kills. Maj. Broadhead machine carried on the nose port side the

inscription Master Mike (his previously flown P-51B was christened Baby Mike). Number of sorties flown was

marked above the exhaust in the form of little bombs. It is not clear what kind of camouflage paint was applied

on 357th FG aicraft. While the veterans speak about British colors Dark Green and Medium Sea Gray the period color pictures point us towards American colors Olive Drab and Neutral Gray. 357th FG aircraft noses were

decorated with yellow-red checkerboard, the propeller spinners were painted in the same colors.



INFO Eduard - December 2019